Farmer’s Market Marinara (Old World Style) – aka. Totally Awesome Spaghetti Sauce

Old World Style Marinara

By Troy Johnson

This is a chunky, veggie rich marinara recipe to serve with pasta, meatballs, and on! The Fresh Harvest Balsamic makes it shine! Use the San Marzano tomatoes (many different brands) as they truly make the sauce taste fresher than traditional canned tomatoes. 

 Ingredients

  • 1 medium white or yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 large Zucchini Squash (finely chopped)
  • 1 small Eggplant (finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsps. Fresh Harvest Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
  • ¼  cup Fresh Harvest Neapolitan Herb or Traditional Balsamic
  • ½  cup full bodied red wine
  • 2 (28-ounce cans) San Marzano Italian Tomatoes
  • 2 (6-ounce cans) Organic Tomato Paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Celery Seed
  • Dash of salt (optional)

(Also optional, brown 1 lb lean ground beef and add to sauce)

For the herbs you can use either of these options:

  • 3  Tbsps. dried Italian Seasoning

Or you can use fresh herbs:

  • 1 cup packed fresh Basil leaves (minced)
  • ½ cup packed fresh Oregano leaves (minced)
  • ¼ cup packed fresh Parsley leaves (minced)

Directions:

Heat the Olive Oil in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent (about 3-4 minutes). Add the minced Garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Then add the zucchini and eggplant and cook for 5-8 minutes until slightly translucent.

Add the tomatoes, Balsamic, wine, celery seed, pepper and salt. Stir well and then add the tomato paste. If using dried Italian seasoning, add that now and stir well.  Bring to a slight boil. Then reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

If using fresh herbs, add them after the first 30 minutes of simmering and then simmer covered for an additional 20-30 minutes or longer. This can simmer for up to an hour or more, but you don’t want it to burn. If it’s too thin, simmer without the cover and it will reduce nicely over time. Stir frequently. Serve over pasta, meatballs, on bread, and on!

This basic sauce keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.

Fresh Harvest Premium Olive Oil and Balsamic

Rachel’s Best Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Best Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup Fresh Harvest Dark Balsamic (Traditional, Fig, Espresso, or fruity)
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Harvest Baklouti olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, minced
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika  (mild or spicy)
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ketchup, Worcestershire, molasses, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, mustard, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Transfer sauce to the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, transfer to a jar and store in refrigerator for up to a month. This is great on everything – chicken, ribs, burgers, and shoes. LOL.

You can literally put it on anything, and I encourage you to do so.

Makes approximately 3 cups.

Fresh Harvest Premium Olive Oil and Balsamic

Basil & Chèvre Spread/Pasta Sauce

Basil & Chèvre Spread/Pasta Sauce

This is a delicious pesto which you can use as a spread, tamponade, on pasta, etc.  You won’t want to heat this, but serve room/temp or chilled or on hot pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. Fresh Chèvre Goat Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Harvest Garlic olive oil
  • 1 cup washed and dried fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Harvest Premium White Balsamic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or add salt to taste)

Directions:

Place the ingredients inside the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until creamy and smooth in consistency.  Serve with bread, crackers, pita, vegetables, or as a lovely sauce for pasta or dressing for pasta salad. Adjust seasoning and store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.      

Fresh Harvest Premium Olive Oil and Balsamic

Winter Ribollita with Gremolata Infused Olive Oil

A delicious Tuscan style of hearty soup served over bread.

An Italian classic! Tuscan hearty soup served over bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of large, dried white beans or butter beans, soaked overnight. After soaking the beans overnight, strain and rinse.
  • 1 bunch kale rinsed and chopped
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 whole clove garlic + 4 cloves minced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 2 medium zucchinis, chopped
  • 1 cup torn basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup medium to robust Fresh Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Harvest Gremolata Olive Oil
  • 2 quarts chicken stock/broth or vegetable stock
  • 4 large tomatoes skinned, seeded and diced, or 1-28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 loaf of chewy crusty bread
  • Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste.

Directions:

In a large stockpot heat 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and red pepper. Sauté about two minutes before adding the minced garlic. Sauté the garlic for another minute.  Add the stock to the pot along with soaked and drained beans.  Simmer on medium low, uncovered for about an hour until the beans are tender.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 F.  Cut the bread in to 1″ slices and brush liberally with remaining 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Toast the bread slices, oiled side up in a single layer on a baking sheet placed in the top rack of the oven for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cut the whole clove of garlic in half, and rub the toasted bread slices with the cut side of the garlic clove and set aside.

When the beans are almost tender, after about an hour of cooking, add the tomato and kale to the pot. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes, then add the zucchini and basil and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Place one toasted slice of bread in each bowl.  Ladle the hot Ribollita over the toasted bread.  Finish each bowl with a drizzle of Gremolata Infused Olive Oil and a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano and a pinch of flat leaf parsley.

Serves 6-8 generously.

 Fresh Harvest Premium Olive Oil and Balsamic

Cream of Celery Soup

Cream of Celery Soup

By Troy Johnson

This easy soup hits the spot for healthy, simple comfort food. For a vegan option,
you can make substitutions as needed. This soup is good made in any way!

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Fresh Harvest Butter Olive Oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups very finely chopped good quality, flavorful celery (about 5 large stalks, organic recommended).
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1½ cups good quality chicken or veggie broth
  • 1½ cups whole milk (or use ¾ cup milk and ¾ cup cream for even tastier results. Use Almond milk for vegan option.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Add the Butter Olive Oil to a Dutch oven and cook the onions, celery and garlic over medium-high heat and until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another minute.  Add the chicken broth and milk/cream and stir until the mixture is smooth. Increase the heat and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining ingredients, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste. Cook longer if desired.

If using as a base for other recipes, this soup will keep in the fridge for at least 3-4 days.

~Note: one batch of this soup is roughly the equivalent (in quantity) of 2 cans prepared canned condensed cream of celery soup (“prepared” meaning 2 cans of added milk). Enjoy as a stand-alone soup or use in any recipe calling for prepared canned condensed cream of celery soup.

Butternut Squash Soup (Slow Cooker Method)

butternut Sqaush SOUP

By Troy Johnson

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into chunks (about 2 1/2  cups)
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp. Fresh Harvest Butternut Squash Seed Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sage, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • ½ cup coconut or almond milk
  • Optional garnishes: Fresh Harvest organic toasted pumpkin seed oil and, sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds. (See photo above).

Directions:

Add vegetable stock, garlic, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, onion, Butternut Squash seed oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg to a slow cooker.  Toss to combine.

Cook for 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high, or until the squash is completely tender and mashes easily with a fork.  Stir in the coconut milk.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  (Or you can transfer the soup in two batches into a traditional blender, and puree until smooth, being very careful when working with the hot liquid.)  Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and cayenne if needed.

Serve warm, with optional garnishes if desired.

Basic Marinara (Old World Style) – aka. Awesome Spaghetti Sauce

Basic Marinara

By Troy Johnson

This is a quick and basic Marinara recipe to serve with pasta, meatballs, etc. The Fresh Harvest Balsamic makes it shine! Try to find San Marzano tomatoes (this is not a brand, but a regional tomatoes from Italy – many stores carry these).

 Ingredients

  • 1 medium white or yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tbsps.  Fresh Harvest Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
  • ¼  cup Fresh Harvest Neapolitan Herb or Traditional Balsamic
  • ¼  cup full bodied red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce can) San Marzano Italian Tomatoes
  • 1 (6-ounce can) Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1 tbsp. dried Fresh Harvest Italian Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Dash of salt (optional)

Directions:

Heat the Olive Oil in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent (about 3-4 minutes). Add the minced Garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Add the wine and cook on higher heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan until most of the liquid evaporate

Add the tomatoes, Balsamic, Italian seasoning, pepper and salt. Stir well and then add the tomato paste.  Blend well and bring to just a slight boil. Then immediately reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

This can simmer for up to an hour, but you don’t want it to burn. Serve over pasta, meatballs, etc.

This basic sauce keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes: San Marzano tomatoes are the most famous plum tomato to come out of Italy. They are grown in the rich volcanic soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius, which gives them a sweet flavor and low acidity and they are coveted for their firm pulp, deep red color, easy to remove skin and low seed count. There are many different brands offering this type of tomato. I prefer the Carmelina brand, but Cento Organic is also great. Using this type of canned tomato really makes your marinara taste fresh.